Reinforcing social infrastructure : the role of physical interventions in revitalizing Hyde Square in Jamaica Plain
Author(s)Campos, Geraldine, 1973-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
John de Monchaux.
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Hyde Square is an example of an inner city neighborhood turnaround that linked physical to social changes. In the past, planners, architects, and government have tried to transform distressed urban neighborhoods unsuccessfully through either social or physical agendas. Hyde Square is an important case study in that it shows a successful approach to linking physical to social changes to revitalize a distressed urban neighborhood. This thesis answers how physical interventions helped to build and reinforce the social fabric of Hyde Square. It concentrates on three physical interventions and two repercussions led by a local non-profit agency, the Neighborhood Development Corporation of Jamaica Plain beginning in the late 1980s. These include the Hyde Square Cooperative Housing, the Stop & Shop Supermarket, and Walden Garden, and two repercussions: the 1-4 Family Housing Program and the Hyde Square Main Street Program. These five interventions have stabilized the decline of the neighborhood, provided a physical manifestation of positive change, improved the image of the neighborhood, and spurred other development. They have reinforced and improved the physical and social fabric allowing for a sense of place, safety, and pride in the neighborhood. By paying special attention to elements of timing, design, and history, the physical interventions have reinforced the social-political work of neighborhood institutions and organizations. These physical interventions have stimulated and encouraged the revitalization momentum by producing physical, social, and economic benefits for the neighborhood. Each intervention's success created opportunities for other physical interventions to occur producing a cycle of events. Their collective results have revitalized the neighborhood. The analysis of the Hyde Square efforts shows that a conscious integrated revitalization effort that meshes government policies, good design, and a strong community organizational infrastructure is essential to successfully turning a neighborhood around. It is through the framework of collaborative efforts of residents, organizations, and institutions, in partnership with government and the private sector, that strategic physical interventions can be instrumental in revitalizing distressed urban neighborhoods.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 1999.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 120-121).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.